Staying physically fit is an integral part of living a long, healthy life. Not only does it reduce the risk of chronic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, it promotes weight loss and keeps your heart and lungs in excellent condition.
Everyone can benefit from physical activity, regardless of age or ability, and it’s an integral part of improving overall health. Studies have demonstrated that exercise can lift your mood, strengthen bones and muscles, enhance digestion, protect against cancer, diabetes, and stroke – just to name a few!
Achieving optimal fitness requires a balanced workout program that incorporates cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. A person may have an impressive VO2 max but be out of shape and unhealthy; conversely, weight lifters who lack flexibility won’t achieve results either.
Maintaining fitness and health can be a challenge, but it’s also an enjoyable way to feel good. There are plenty of ways to stay active – from jogging on the treadmill or taking your kids to the playground to yoga, biking, or swimming.
Finding activities you enjoy is the best way to stay active. Start small each day, even if it’s only a few minutes of movement. As your fitness level improves, gradually increase the duration of each workout until reaching 150 minutes a week of moderate-to-vigorous activity (like walking, running, dancing, cycling, swimming or playing basketball). This amount should eventually equal at least 150 minutes a week of such exercises as walking or running for at least 150 minutes total time spent active (such as walking/running/dancing/ cycling/swimming or playing basketball).